Human Flag progress


Back in May I posted the below “selfie” (in quotes because how could I have possibly taken it?):


It’s a party trick I learned back in high school. I think Dan Jaffe showed me how. It’s called a “clutch flag” by some, because you clutch a pole (with elbow jammed into abs for support) and pretend you’re a human flag. You may even choose to get inside the mind of a flag and “be” the character if you like. It’s quite peaceful.

After I’d posted it, some people (it was me) egged me on to achieve the “real” human flag, wherein you don’t use the elbow for support, but instead grip with two hands, overhead, arms straight. I tried it once, collapsed, laughed at the absurdity, had one friend remark “Is this even possible?”. Turns out, it requires a heck of a lot more shoulder, chest, lats, abdominals, and oblique strength than I had on tap. So, I asked my awesome Pilates trainer, Jaime Rutt, to help me put together a training plan in order to achieve the fully laid-out, arms-only, human flag by September 1st. She came up with “JP’s ‘Super Selfie’ Workout”, which I’ll share in another post.

I’ve been doing a decent amount of conditioning toward this goal, but I haven’t actually done any training on a proper pole yet (the one from the my clutch flag photo is much too wide to grip properly) I’m very excited however to have tried a pike to flag position on the ladder rungs at the fitness trail the other day and not completely bitten it:

My goal is to hold the flat position horizontal to the ground for a few seconds. So I’m not even close. This is my first attempt at starting from a vertical pike position and lowering to horizontal. My dog is unimpressed. Incidentally, the world record is 1 minute 5 seconds — not something I’ll be challenging any time soon. Even that leaves my dog nonplussed, so. But check back on September 1st to see if I hit the three second mark.